Power of Chair Yoga Even in Advanced Dementia
Exercise: Chair Yoga Benefits Those with Advanced Dementia. For seniors with moderate to severe dementia who are unable to participate in regular exercise due to cognitive impairment, problems with balance, or fear of falling, new research suggests that engaging in a chair-based yoga program can improve both mental health and quality of life. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease & Other Dementias, October 2019
Often, people who experience cognitive decline have a history of untreated or prolonged immobility ranging from a top cause being arthitis to other causes. Underuse of muscles leads to weakness and this is highly correlated to decreased cognitive function. A simple test of this is grip strength. How strong is your grip? Do you have a way of measuring it?
If you can keep you grip strong and work out your body on a daily basis in a combination of strength and flexibility movements, you are more likely to remain sharp. This is why yoga is a popular recommendation. Learning how to do yoga at home is an even more practical recommendation so you can keep up a daily practice and they go out to group classes once or twice a week. The brain not only loves, it needs consistency.
So powerful is movement and breath on the brain, that despite the advancement of their ailment, people in the study cited above who practice chair yoga regularly, several times a week or more, are able to improve their brain health which includes, increase awareness of people and their surroundings, improve memory and improve mood.
Quality of life is a term that may mean a lot of a little a phrase. But the ripple effect is huge and its economic impact is large. If a person is able to learn exactly what new habits they need to build and maintain a better brain, they are also able to give themselves better quality of life. That means they can sleep soundly, manage their daily living and remain truly optimistic on their own. Optimism highly correlates to being less likely to develop Alzheimer's. So building a better brain creates a positive reinforcement loop.
The economic impact of doing this on your own means putting off having to pay others to do it, or have family members disrupt their work schedules, risking potentially losing their jobs, to do so in this competitive economy.
It is estimated that each case of Alzheimers costs the average American Family over $327 thousand. This number has been careful build by analysts at the Alzheimer's association and dates from 2017, so it is likely to be low. It takes into account out of pocket expenses, unpaid medical expenses, and the cost of unpaid care that goes into caring for someone who is not able to deliver their own quality of life. This figure is confirmed by Fortune, Forbes and other sources. It does not include what 5 years in memory care will cost which is about $698 thousand.
Everyone who hears this number at the beginning of their journey believes it does not apply to them. And yet, everyone who has experienced Alzheimer's in the family says that the number may be low. As each family begins the journey of caring for someone gradually, they take on a gamble, and they tend to look only at the good days. But left without a clear plan and a program, the costs creep up. Each family thinks they will somehow beat the odds.
Your best bet is actually to be pro-active and to learn what the last decade of science has revealed in non-drug therapeutic methods. The magic bullet drug cure, is a long way off. Last summer all three major drug makers of Anti-Dementia drugs to treat Alzheimer's suspected their trials due to excessive risk or non-efficacy (they were not working). Then just recently in October, Biogen announced it would proceed with an early stage drug based on a trial that had failed in August. The stock bounced and then settled as industry analysts were not convinced by the logic behind the announcement.
With early stage cognitive decline, the research shows that if you begin a brain healthy lifestyle at early stage Dementia, you have an excellent change, better than any drug available on the market by 4x, to avoid it all together. And in stead of running the risks of side effects like brain hemorrhages you will not only heal your brain, you will heal your heart, your skin, your muscles and your quality of life, and learn new skills. You will be a beacon in your community.
If you want to help yourself or a loved one learn how to build continued quality of life click here,
For a nice sequence on Chair Yoga click here